Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday December 22, 2011.
Sparkle - Growing up, our Christmas tree boarded on tacky.  Okay, to be honest it was, without a doubt, tacky.  I blame my sister.  When applying the tinsel, my sister had a heavy hand.  Jennifer believed that more meant better which meant our scotch pine no longer looked like a real live tree but rather a silver spaceship in the corner of our cottage living room.  Even the coloured lights were barely visible, buried beneath the silver veil.

Friday December 23, 2011.
He's Too Much - The best Christmas special in my opinion is A Year Without Santa.  I enjoy The Grinch, Charlie Brown, Frosty and Rudolph as much as the next person (although I do wince when I watch Santa being a big fat bully to poor Rudolph) but none of these Christmas characters can even come close to the Miser Brothers.  After all, they're too much.

Saturday December 24, 2011.
Bathed in Sunlight and Shadows -  Not my typical Christmas eve photos.  I simply couldn't resist this picture of Charlie fresh from the tub, warming himself in the sun before we went to Gramma's place to celebrate the holidays.  Nor could I resist the gorgeous winter sky as we drove home after a great day. 

Sunday December 25, 2011.
Take a Breath -  Here we go.  The Magic Moment between quiet anticipation and sweet chaos.  My heart is full.

Monday December 26, 2011.
Motherhood - Above me and below me on the family tree, these ladies have taught me how to be a mother. 

Tuesday December 27, 2011.
Coffee Date - After three days of visiting, my family and I were ready for some down time.  We spent most of the day in our pyjamas, relaxing in the basement.  The boys played with their new games, I read my new book and together we watched a movie.  We munched on left over party food and shut out the world.  When we were ready to face reality again, John, The Little Man and I slipped out for a mid afternoon coffee date.

Wednesday December 28, 2011.
Finding Love -  You never know when love is going to find you.  When my mother woke up this morning, she never could have guessed that this would be the day that she would be found.  I couldn't be happier for her - or for us.

Thursday December 29, 2011.
Simple Beauty - For me, this stump, stripped of it's protective bark, aged and weathered from the elements is pure. simple. beauty.

I'm adding a few collages.  Images of how our family celebrated Christmas that didn't make it into my 365 project but I wanted to share nonetheless.

 Christmas Eve Traditions.

Christmas Morning

Christmas Eve Day with Gramma

Christmas day with the outlaws

Christmas on Boxing Day with my side of the family.  (John's outlaw's)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Saturday December 17, 2011.
Most Wonderful Time of the Year - I love our cats, they are awesome furry souls, but I draw the line at getting them Christmas presents.  Seriously, my list is long enough without buying for the cats. Besides, I think our indoor cats consider having a tree in the house the best gift of all.

Sunday December 18, 2011.
Exhale - In our house, I cook and my husband plates up.  I took advantage of those few minutes Sunday night to kick my feet up and exhale.  Christmas was finally beginning to come together.

December 18, 2011.
His Shot- I am the family photographer so John doesn't often pick up the camera.  Sunday night, while I was watching TV with the kids, I asked John to take our picture.  Because being seen is important.  If you are the family photographer, step in front of the lens, ask someone to take your picture.  Twenty years from now you will want those images.  Your grown up children will want pictures of you.  Trust me, they will make fun of your style before they even notice that you don't have on a lick of makeup, your hair is a mess or you need to loose that last ten pounds.    

Monday December 19, 2011.
Elfed! - Charlie and I Elfed his friends on Monday night.  Being Elfed! is kind of like being Boo'd.  One friend drops of an Elf note, and a small treat at two friends homes.  The recipients then each drop off a Elf note and treats at another two friends home.  Hopefully reaching all the kids in the neighborhood.  I hope that the families that we Elfed have fun and aren't overwhelmed having another task at a busy time of year.  Regardless, Charlie and I enjoyed, sneaking around in the dark being Ninja Elves. 

Tuesday December 20, 2011.
Look Out Ol' Santa is Back!- On Tuesday morning I went to watch Charlie's school musical, December in Our Town.  I love watching The Little Man on stage.  At this age, he's so animated without any self consciousness.  So sweet.
(Also, just wanted to point out that I've over edited the photo on purpose.  I don't feel comfortable posting pictures of other people's children without their permission.)

December 21, 2011.
I Need Another Project Like I Need - Yet another what was I thinking moment.  Actually it lasted longer than a moment.  All morning my sewing skills or lack there of were tested.  The bobbin became a tangled mass of thread not once or twice but so many times I lost count, fabric became jammed into the machine and I broke a needle.  I was just about done when I realized that I had sewn the entire project inside out and up side down.  It was at this point that I got sweary.  I had to rip out the poorly sewn seam.  The seam that was both tangled, knotted and too tight.  I swore again.  And again.  And then I called my mother, took a deep breath and started over.  I had learned from my mistakes, so the second sewing went much better.  That is until I was about six inches from completing, and I ran out of bobbin thread.  grrrrr.....
Sunday December 11, 2011.
An Ordinary Morning - We sat drinking our morning coffee, discussing our plans for the day.  The To Do list was growing quickly.   I was grateful for our few moments of quiet togetherness.

Monday December 12, 2011.
Locked Together - It is a tradition for the grade eight students to put their locks on the chain link fence on the last day of elementary school.  Kenzie and her friend, Chelsea put these locks here.  I would call them best friends, but not in the way you usually think of best friends. 
They met on the first day of kindergarten, although, these two girls rarely socialize at school.  I remember once in grade three listening to the girls fight upstairs.  One minute they were yelling and screaming, the next they were in a fit of laughter.  Uncontrollable laughter.  That is how Kenzie and Chelsea are.  There is bond between these two that goes beyond popularity, social status, or a bad day.
Tuesday December 13, 2011.
Lines of Light -

Wednesday December 14, 2011.
Baby Fix -  I had the chance to photograph my friends granddaughter and got my baby fix too.  As much as I love the stage my kids are at, I miss having a baby in my world.   Last year, we finalized our decision not to have more children.  I know it was the right decision for us.  But moving ahead, farther and farther away from some of the most precious years of my life makes me a little sad.   

Thursday December 15, 2011.
Sincerely Yours - I hope he gets all he has wished for.

Friday December 16, 2011.
New Word - Last year for Ali Edwards One Little Word project, I choose the word Thrive.  I think I over shot.
Thrive -verb,
1.  to prosper; be fortunate or successful.
2.  to grow or develop vigorously; flourish: The children thrived in the country.
What I`ve learned this past year is that thriving - growing and developing vigorously is often accompanied with growing pains. 
After the year we`ve had, I`m considering words like comfort, enjoy, and easy for my 2012 one little word. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday December 1, 2011.
Missed the Moment - It was a sweet moment.  But by the time I went to the other room to get the camera, it was gone.  Instead of capturing the boys, both working on massaging one of their Dad's shoulders I got this goofy picture.  Yep, missed it.
Friday December 2, 2011.
The Walk Home -  We stayed later then we should have playing at the park after school.  It was cold, but the kids didn't seem to notice.  It was Friday and the sun was shining: those two things put all of us - The Mommies and The Kids in a good mood. 
Saturday December 3, 2011.
A Good Day -  It was Saturday and I had to work.  It could have been a bummer of a day, but it wasn't.  The day began with a beautiful sunrise and ended with a dinner at my mom's house.  I had so much to be thankful for.
Sunday December 4, 2011.
You Hold the Key - Everyone has or should have some go to ways to unwind during the craziness of the holiday season.  Mine is usually my camera, but lately music is becoming a key to stress relief.  One of my favourites?  The Fairytale of New York.  There's nothing like an angry Irish duo singing and cursing to wash away the tension.
Monday December 5, 2011.
The View From Here - The best part of the drive home was home.
Tuesday December 6, 2011.
From Where I Stand -  Last day at the greenhouse, last day of looking down at my work boots.  Last day.  I had mixed emotions.  I always find endings and goodbyes difficult, yet I was looking forward to having more time.  More time.  In December.  Yeah, right.
Wednesday December 7, 2011.
Every Little Thing -  It's the little things that make my heart melt.  Charlie was being particularly sweet the other night.
"Why are you such a good boy?" I asked him.
"I don't know, besides" he said, "I don't mind trouble that much.  Trouble is just a chance to learn." he told me.
Then he thought about it for a moment.  "But some kids don't learn that well." he said.
"That's okay Charlie, some adults don't learn that well either."
Smart Kid.
Thursday December 8, 2011.
Up and Down - The tree had been sitting outside for two days before we finally managed to get it in the house.  Up it went, and then down it came.  That is about how Christmas 2011 is going so far.  Two steps forward one step back.
Friday December 9, 2011.
School Work - I found her preschool artwork in with some of the Christmas decorations.  A dozen years have passed since she got off the bus telling me stories from her day.  Mitchell, the boy who rode on the bus beside her had given her a plastic Santa ring and asked her to marry him.  In her book bag was her Christmas Tree painting, that she was so excited to show off.  So many years have passed and things aren't that different.  She still tells me about all the happenings of her day, and she still works hard to be able to show off her school work.       
Saturday December 10, 2011.
Twinkle, Twinkle - The tree is decorated.  I keep looking at John's trailer ornament, wishing we were small enough to camp inside. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

November 19, 2011.
My Guys - I found them playing Lego together in Josh's room when I got home from work on Saturday.  The truth is that more than likely, Josh had tried to escape from his little brother's nagging.  Charlie thinks of Josh as his personal play toy.  So occasionally Josh will retreat to his room, to rejuvenate his patience. It's usually not too long before he is found, and by that time Josh is good to go again. He is the best big brother ever.

November 20, 2011.
Measure and be Sure - I watched her measure out the water for her Italian Meringue Icing that she was making for the cake club she joined.   Looking at her, I know it won't be long before she is in her own kitchen.  I am reminded again how quickly her childhood is passing.  The days of her pulling a chair up to the counter to help me bake are gone.  Instead it is me who is off to the side, waiting for instructions, eager and hopeful that she will ask for my help.

November 21, 2011.
Game Time - The boys aren't the only ones who enjoy their evening game time.  Miss Piggy sits pretty, patiently waiting for the ~GAME OVER~ so that she can be rewarded with an absent minded scratch behind the ears.

November 22, 2011.
A Beautiful Soul - It is my hope that she knows just how much her father and I love and admire her when she steps out the door.  And I hope that somehow all our love will be enough to protect her from any heartbreak, but I doubt it.

November 23, 2011.
Hurt - Not emotionally, physically.  The change of seasons has been doing a number on my skin.  The colder temperatures and our heating system has left my face feeling like a desert on fire.  Ouch.

November 24, 2011.
A New View - The broken front window is finally being replaced! 

November 25, 2011.
Movember - The Little Man asked his sister to do his make up for Crazy Mustache Day.  And just so you know, he requested the green squares.  When I asked him if I could take his picture, he gave me this tough guy pose.  What a ham!


November 26, 2011.
Santa Clause is Coming to Town - I love the charm of a small town parade.  Dance troupes, the high school band, and local businesses all proudly strutting their stuff.  ~ and of course there is always Santa! 

November 27, 2011.
Winter Greens - 

November 28, 2011.
Monday Mornings - I might be the only person I know who likes Monday mornings.  Full of promise and hope. 

November 28, 2011.
Grey, Cold and Wet - All day I was cold.  Cold and damp.  When I got home, I added layers: shirt, hoodie, vest, winter coat, hat, gloves and scarf.  I put on a double layer of socks and sat in front of the fire place trying to shake the cold that went so deep even my bones were freezing.  I must have looked pathetic, because  The Kid made me a cup of herbal tea.   It warmed my bones and my heart. 

November 30, 2011.
Deck the Halls - I decorated the house for Christmas on my day off.  It was the bottom of the last box that made me cry.  Buried at the bottom were the decorations that I no longer put up, but are the ones with the sweetest memories.  Like salt dough ornaments and the tin foil and glitter star Kenzie made for the tree when she was a little girl.  And then there were my weak attempt at crafts -a Santa made from an old javex bottle, a reindeer made from an old work sock and the Christmas tree wall hanging that I made from a old red sweatshirt, and scrap fabric from the green velvet left over from my bridesmaid dresses.  Crafts that I made with little or no money as a young wife trying to fill our home with Christmas magic. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 12, 2011.
Carry On - Saturday, Hubby and I spent running around, doing errands.  One of the errands we had to do was drop The Kid off at the mall.   Seriously, we are only one day past Remembrance Day and the Christmas shopping is in full force.   Just getting in and out of the parking lot was a challenge.  Good thing I wasn't the one driving.
November 13, 2011.
Milestones - Charlie had his first friend sleepover last weekend.  It's a milestone that he has been eager to reach.  Every time one of the big kids had a friend sleepover, or went to one, he asked me when it would be his turn.   Charlie and his buddy had an evening of playing games, building Lego and watching movies.  After breakfast, I brought the boys to the park to play for a bit before taking his friend home.  I just love how full of joy they are in this picture.  Oh to be six again.
November 14, 2011.
Are You Looking at Me? - This is what a 365 picture looks like for a working girl, who hasn't adjusted to the shorter days, and no natural light.  A random, flashy, picture of the stuffie basket.  Say hello to my little friend. 
November 15, 2011.
The Points - Rows and rows of the poinsettias in the greenhouse at my work.  Just waiting to be brought home so that they can promptly drop their red leaves all over someones table.   Personally, I'm not a big fan of the points, but they do look pretty in the greenhouse. 

November 16, 2011.
New Life - On Wednesday, it was the ten year anniversary of my Grandma's passing.  The delay in posting to the blog has been because of this picture of Grandma's cactus plant just coming into bloom.  I've been waiting for the {right} words to come to me, but so far any words I come up with feel small.  I miss her physical presence, her kindness and courage. I miss her voice and her unmistakable laughter.  I miss her physically and yet, I feel her by my side spiritually.  I feel her presence whenever I stop to appreciate the beauty of nature with wonder.  She is there by my side when I cook from one of her recipes.  I feel her when her cactus comes into bloom and when I see a flock of geese flying over head.  And I'm sure she is with us when we celebrate new life. 
Welcome Miss Corrine Marie.

November 17, 2011.
First Snow - There is something magical about the first snow of the season.  Looking out my window and seeing my little corner of the world turned into a snow globe made me feel warm and cozy.    
November 18, 2011.
I *heart* Snow- That is until I got my licence. The snow may be fun, but driving in it not so much.  I hope that any major storms will hold off until my job is complete.  Driving on snow covered, rural roads isn't my idea of a good time.  Fingers crossed.